Color Challenge: Harajuku Birthday Party

Harajuku makeup tutorial
Featuring not one, but two Polly Pocket necklaces.

When my friend invited me to his Harajuku themed birthday party, I had one thought: how will I do my makeup? In day-to-day life I prefer a fairly natural look, but it’s fun to go all out on occasion.

The day before, I did a quick run-through, featuring teal halo smokey eyes and bubblegum pink lips. I wasn’t satisfied – not as colorful or playful as I wanted. Also, the birthday party was a brunch, so I didn’t want to deal with my lipstick wearing off during a meal.

teal smokey eye tutorial
Bright, but not quite wacky enough.

Instead, I decided to play up my eyes and wear a simple pink lip stain that would require no touching up.

How to Get this Ridiculous Look in (Only) 10 Steps: 

1. Apply eye primer. My current favorite is Wet N Wild’s Fergie (yes, from the Black Eyed Peas) primer.
2. Brush a skin-toned matte shade (I use Lorac Cream) below your eyebrows at the edge of the smokey eye, so that you can blend it with the pink. If you don’t have a shadow that matches your skin, you can also use a translucent setting powder, like Make Up Forever’s HD powder.

3. Apply the pink shade to the crease and outer corner of your eye using windshield wiper motions. I used Urban Decay in Junkshow, a fuschia pink with a shimmery blue shift.

4. Pat on teal eyeshadow to the mobile lid and the center of the lower lashline, just below the iris. I used Urban Decay Deep End, which has great pigmentation.

5. Blend the pink and blue with a clean, fluffy blending brush. This will create a purple shade along the lower part of the crease.

6. Pat black eyeshadow with a small brush to the outer corner, and blend with circular motion. I used Urban Decay’s Blackout, the deepest, matte-ish black I’ve ever tried (I did side-by-side comparisons of the half dozen black shadows I have from various palettes).

7. For an inner corner highlight, I used a L’Oreal lime green loose shadow I bought in … 2004? Ssssh, powder makeup doesn’t expire quickly, and you’ll know it when it does.

8. Apply black liquid liner in a dramatic wing. I used Urban Decay’s 24/7 liquid liner. It has an ultra-fine brush for pointy wings, and once you put it on, it doesn’t budge. It has a slightly glossy finish. If you want a matte black shade, try Kat Von D’s liner in Trooper.

9. Brush on a coat of lash primer and several coats of black mascara on top and bottom lashes. I’m currently using Lancome’s lash primer and Givenchy Phenomen’eyes mascara. False lashes intimidate me, so I stick to lash primer and mascara.

10. Don’t forget your eyebrows! I brushed on a coat of Maybelline clear mascara and lightly filled in with Anastasia Dip Brow in Blonde. I brushed in the pomade with a clean spoolie.

I finished off the look with a ballet pink lip stain by heavily applying Revlon balm stain in Cherish, and then wiping it mostly off with a tissue (ok it was actually a piece of toilet paper).

With so much going on with the eyes, I kept the skin simple, with no foundation or concealer, but you do you. I did use two (2) highlighters – Benefit High Beam, a silvery pink, topped with Colourpop Fanny Pack, a white cream shade. To add color to my cheeks I used a lavender pink glittery blush, a shade from Tarina Tarantino’s blush pallete that I rarely get a chance to wear.

 I finished off the look with two powders: Make Up Forever HD powder, which blurs, mattifies, and preserves the makeup, and Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Diffused Light, a soft yellow powder that adds a radiance back to the conplexion, and reduces redness. 
Luckily, living in New York City means even a dramatic look like this doesn’t attract second glances on the subway.


Music and Makeup: Get Lauren Mayberry from Chvrches’ Cool Look

chvrches lauren mayberry
Flawless, etc.

One of my favorite music discoveries in 2013 is the Scottish electro-pop duo Chvrches (yes, that’s a v, but it’s pronounced Churches. Just stylized with a Roman u for smart SEO purposes). My friend described them as a cross between Passion Pit and Tegan and Sara. I’d also throw in The xx, Purity Ring, and Robyn, all great bands to evoke. They make insanely catchy yet intelligent music, which is not an easy accomplishment.

I saw them perform at the Mezzanine in March, and I’ve got tickets to see them at the much larger Fox Theatre this November: an impressive rise that shows how popular they’ve become. They even had a writeup on Buzzfeed yesterday – surely a sign of good things to come.

The frontwoman Lauren Mayberry entrances you onstage with a clear soprano and charming asides. She’s the kind of performer that makes the entire crowd fall in love with her, men and women alike. You can check out their first album, The Bones of What You Believe, streaming on NPR until its full release on September 24th.

Along with Lauren’s beautiful voice and enigmatic lyrics, I’m a fan of her eye makeup, which is usually a funky version of the classic cat eye. Keep reading to find out how I got this look:

chvrches makeup tutorial
Turn the other cheek

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Labor Day Makeup Look (I’m In Denial About the End of Summer!)

who stole summer
Where did summer go?

Today’s the last day of summer, but I can’t believe it’s really over. Summer is my favorite season, and Summer 2013 has been pretty epic, beginning with a free trip to Tahiti (thanks, friend’s work!), followed by a series of life-changing concerts (Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Run the Jewels, My Morning Jacket, How to Dress Well, and alt-j to name a few), and of course lots of exploring the city on foot. My best friend from home visited last weekend, and it was great showing her SF, plus a quick ferry jaunt to Sausalito.

Lucky for me, SF is gearing up for it’s warmest season (farewell Fogust!). Labor Day doesn’t have the same funeral of summer atmosphere as it did on the East Coast. To celebrate such a great summer, I pulled together a very simple look paired with an 80s knit sweater I inherited from my grandmother.

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The Belles of Twin Peaks: Josie Packard, Lumber Mill Femme Fatale

josie packard
What did I do wrong?

I’ve finally¬†Belles of Twin Peaks series, I present to you Josie Packard. When people talk about Twin Peaks style inspiration, they usually reference Audrey Horne, the poor little rich girl troublemaker. I love Audrey, but I think there’s a more interesting femme fatale character on the Peaks: Josie Packard, the mysterious owner of the town mill.

Played masterfully by Joan Chen, Josie is enigmatic. It’s hard to tell if she’s a sweet woman who needs to be saved or a mischievous troublemaker. My kind of woman. Her look is late 80s/early 90s dramatic, sculpted perfection. You can easily imagine her next to Cindy Crawford on a cover, except for the somewhat dowdy outfits she wears to play down her sex appeal.

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Summer Colds Are the Worst! How to Look Better When You Feel Like Absolute Sh*t

Yay back to normal temperatures
Yay back to normal temperatures

I hate summer colds. You want to be out frolicking in pastures and end up stuck on the couch. I had a very high fever about a month ago for 36 hours that fluctuated rapidly. No other symptoms at all, not even swollen lymph nodes or congestion. When I told my doctor about it later, she said hmmmmm. ¬†Of course, there’s nothing else to say. Undoubtedly my body was doing its magic fighting an unknown assailant.

After two nights of fever dreams, soaked bed sheets, and fuzzy mental capacity, the fever broke. I started to feel better, but I definitely didn’t look better – the fever had taken its toll on my face. If you think I’m exaggerating, you need to see the picture just below the jump.

When you’re getting better from a cold you want an easy beauty routine, so I simplified it to just a few steps. Check out my “feel better” look.

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You Call This Summer? A Rainy Day Makeup Tutorial for Weird Weather

rainy day makeup
Damp but not depressed

In most places in this country, we’re moving into the hottest months of the year. But not in San Francisco – the best weather is usually in April and October. San Francisco has a way of being contrarian, even within its city limits. When I wake up, I check the weather of the specific zip code I’ll be in that day – there’s enough variation neighborhood to warrant that.

So today I present a makeup look inspired by a foggy, drizzling summer day. It doesn’t even need to be raining when you wear it!

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